If Manchin were to win a special election for Senate this fall, Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, D-Logan, would serve in both positions until a special election for the unexpired term for governor could be held.
Manchin said that, while many in state government were aware of the problems in the state's succession laws, they were never addressed, "out of respect for Sen. Byrd."
"Now, we need to step up to the plate and fix it," the governor said said.
Manchin said he has a short list of possible appointees to fill Byrd's seat, but said the final decision could sway on whether the appointment turns out to be for a period of six months or for 21/2 years.
Asked whether first lady Gayle Manchin -- who attended the press conference -- was on the list, the governor commented, "She'd be a wonderful option, wouldn't she?"
However, he seemed to rule out that possibility, saying, "We work very well as a team."
Published lists of possible candidates for the vacancy include Tomblin, former governors Gaston Caperton and Bob Wise, former state Democratic Party chairman Nick Casey, current party Chairman Larry Puccio and longtime Byrd aide Anne Barth.
Also Wednesday, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., joined a growing list of public officials calling for a special election this year.
Campaign spokesman Kent Gates said Capito would not rule out running for the Senate, if an election is held this fall.
"Right now, there really isn't an office to run for," he added, saying that Capito's immediate focus is on winning re-election to her sixth term in the House. Capito faces political novice Virginia Lynch Graf in that race.
Tennant on Friday called for a special session to correct the senatorial succession law, saying that otherwise, she is bound to enforce the election law as it currently stands.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.